We recently highlighted DOL opinion letter 2018-27, which rescinded the 80/20 rule and was a welcome change for employers in the restaurant industry.  However, less than two months after the DOL’s policy change, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri rejected the DOL’s new guidance, claiming it is “unpersuasive and unworthy” of deference.

As a refresher, the 80/20 rule requires businesses to pay tipped workers at least minimum wage (with no tip credit) for non-tip generating tasks when these tasks take up more than 20% of the tipped workers’ time.

Continue Reading Federal Court “Tips” the Scale in Favor of Restaurant Workers by Reviving 80/20 Rule

Before the lame duck period of the 115th Congress, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and a group of 58 Democrat co-sponsors, introduced the Restoring Justice for Workers Act (H.R. 7109), which would prohibit  employers from requiring employees to sign mandatory arbitration agreements.

Continue Reading Epic Changes to Epic Systems: House Democrats Seek to Prohibit Class Waivers in Arbitration Agreements

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently published an Opinion Letter (FLSA-2018-27) reissuing its January 16, 2009 guidance (Opinion Letter FLSA-2009-23) and reversing its Obama-era position on the 20% tip credit rule.  This opinion letter marks another major shift in DOL’s policy and presents a welcome change for employers in the restaurant industry.

Continue Reading DOL “Tips” the Scale in Favor of Restaurant Employers by Ending 20% Tip Credit Rule

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued a new “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act” (“FCRA”)  (“Summary of Rights”) form on September 12, 2018.  This form replaces the previous version issued on November 12, 2012, and is expected to be implemented by employers on September 21, 2018.

Continue Reading New Compliance Requirements for FCRA Background Checks

As we wrote about last month, on May 21, 2018, the Supreme Court rendered its decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, 138 S. Ct. 1632 (2018), rejecting perhaps the largest remaining obstacles to the enforcement of class action waivers in arbitration agreements in the employment context.  The Court concluded that the class action waivers did not violate the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).  Although the Court’s opinion also seemed dispositive of whether such agreements could be avoided under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), at least one claimant tried to continue to litigate the issue, which was disposed of last week in Gaffers v. Kelly Servs., Inc., No. 16-2210 (6th Cir. 2018).  And now the Sixth Circuit has addressed whether Epic Systems would apply to arbitration agreements with putative independent contractors who contended that they should have been treated as employees.

Continue Reading Supreme Court’s Decision Upholding Arbitration Agreements Applies to Independent Contractors Too

On May 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, holding that the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) does not prohibit the use of arbitration agreements with class/collective action waivers covered by the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”).   The Sixth Circuit has now concluded in Gaffers v. Kelly Services, Inc.  that the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), like the NLRA, does not bar the use of arbitration agreements with class/collective action waivers.

Continue Reading Supreme Court’s Decision Upholding Arbitration Agreements Extended to the FLSA

In Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, San Francisco Cty., 137 S. Ct. 1773 (June 17, 2017), the U.S. Supreme Court established limitations on personal jurisdiction over non-resident defendants in “mass actions,” a litigation strategy often utilized by plaintiffs’ class action attorneys to sue corporations in plaintiff-friendly jurisdictions that have little to no connection with the underlying dispute.  The Supreme Court determined that the requisite connection between the corporate defendant and the litigation forum must be based on more than a combination of the company’s connections with the state and the similarity of the claims of the resident plaintiffs and the non-resident claimants.  The ruling directed the dismissal of 592 non-California claims from 33 other states.  As a result, the ruling supports the view that plaintiffs cannot simply “forum shop” in large class and collective actions and instead must sue where the corporate defendant has significant contacts for purposes of general jurisdiction or limit the class definition to residents of the state where the lawsuit is filed.

Continue Reading A New Tool For Preventing Forum Shopping in FLSA Collective Actions

On April 23, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Ratliff v. Celadon Trucking Servs., 1:17-cv-07163, dismissed a putative class action lawsuit alleging a violation of the pre-adverse action notice requirements in section 1681b(b)(3) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”).  Ratliff is significant in the body of background check precedent because it is a part of an emerging trend of § 1681b(b)(3) claims (as opposed to the more commonly challenged § 1681b(b)(2)Disclosure claims) challenged and dismissed for lack of Article III standing.

In the opinion, Judge Manish S. Shah found plaintiff Ratliff could not show that he suffered an injury-in-fact after defendant Celadon allegedly did not properly provide him with an FCRA mandated notice before declining his employment due to the results of his criminal background check.

Continue Reading The Spokeo Chronicles: FCRA Pre-Adverse Action Claim Dismissed for Failure to Plead Injury-in-Fact

When a party receives an adverse order on a motion for class certification, whether the court of appeals grants permission to appeal under Rule 23(f) can be a crucial turning point in the case.  If the appellate court will not hear this interlocutory appeal, the only way to obtain review of that decision is to take the case through trial, to a final judgment.  But, due to the high stakes and large costs involved, few class actions are tried and cases often settle after the class certification order is issued by the trial court.

Continue Reading Appellate Court Provides Valuable Guidance for Interlocutory Appeals of Class Certification Orders Under Rule 23(f)

On December 21, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Moore v. Rite Aid Headquarters Corp., 2:13-cv-01515, dismissed a class action lawsuit alleging a violation of the pre-adverse action notice requirements in section 1681b(b)(3) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”).  Moore is significant in the body of criminal background check precedent because it is a post-Spokeo ruling dismissing a pre-adverse action notice claim (as opposed to a 1681b(b)(2) Disclosure claim) on standing grounds after the parties participated in discovery and developed a factual record.

Continue Reading The Spokeo Chronicles: FCRA Criminal Background Pre-Adverse Action Claim Dismissed for Lack of Standing